Biblical View of Infertility

Biblical View of Infertility

God said to His chosen people, “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28, 9:1, 35:11, 48:4). Is this God’s command or blessing? We can easily name those women in the Bible who suffered with infertility. Sarah had no child of her own until she turned 90 years old. Rebekah had been childless for twenty years of marriage. Rachel couldn’t bear a child until God listened to her and enabled her to conceive. Hannah didn’t bear a child for years until God listened to her fervent prayer.

As you see similar stories of infertility in the Bible, you may wonder why only women were highlighted as suffering objects with this issue. Scientifically, it has been proven that one–third of infertility cases are caused by male reproductive issues, one–third by female reproductive issues, and one–third by both male and female reproductive issues or by unknown factors.[1]

In ancient culture, the people who worshipped idols created statues of the goddess of fertility with the hope of bearing children. They considered women with the ability to conceive children fortunate. The people of God had similar perception in regards to fertility. Fertility, the life created and carried by women, was considered a sign of God’s favor[2]. It was a rigid and universal perspective regardless of religion. Bearing a child is surely a blessing of God, but we must understand that the opposite case is not a curse from God.

In biblical times the Israelites received God’s Word, “Be fruitful and multiply” as His command. Then, how can we interpret the case that Abraham and Sarah had no more children after Isaac? How about the fact that Noah and his wife had no more children after the flood even though they heard from God “Be fruitful and multiply?” Did they not obey God’s command? In fact, the words “Be fruitful and multiply” is a blessing rather than a command. God didn’t create men and women simply for childbearing. As God created mankind in his own image, God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground” (Genesis 1:28, NIV). He commanded both ‘the man and the woman’ to rule over all the creatures that He created. He gave us the mission to rule over and take care of His creation.

God created the first small community. He created the humans as a community and blessed them with the command to be fruitful. Therefore, fertility should be understood as a blessing to build a community of believers to carry out God’s mission. There can be big communities and small communities. A community does not necessarily indicate family size. By the grace of God, we are allowed to join the body of Christ, which is called ‘church.’ We can build a faith community with other believers of Jesus Christ. The point is that we are blessed and called to carry out God’s mission together regardless of the number of children we may have. It means God’s plan for us is the same even if we do not conceive a child.

Even with this understanding, it is true that many Christian couples are suffering with infertility, desiring to have their own child, and praying about it.

What kind of advice will be helpful to those couples?

First, know that infertility is not a curse. Psalm 139:13 says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” God created you wonderfully and the Creator knows you well. He has a plan for each one of His people. His thoughts are beyond our understanding. Do not consider infertility a curse for women.

Second, Infertility is not related to your salvation. You are saved only through faith in Christ Jesus. If you are confident of your salvation, you have already received the perfect gift from God. With the gift of salvation God calls you to do good works. Ephesians 2:8-10 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Third, Pour out your emotions to the Lord in prayer. Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 says, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” There is a season for everything. Have a sense of freedom to express your emotions to God who is your Father.

Lastly, seek God and His will for you. If God is willing, He can make anything happen in His time. We should trust and obey His perfect will for us. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Continue to seek His will through reading the Word of God and prayer. Ask your fellow believers to lift you up in their intercessory prayer.

Remember, God does not hurt or curse anyone. Indeed, He loves you so much that He was willing to give His Son Jesus Christ. “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).


[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2009). Infertility FAQs. Retrieved June 11, 2012, from

[2] The Women of the Bible Speak, Shannon Bream, Fox News Network LLC. 2021, p. 32


Additional Resources

Blog: Struggling with Infertility

Worship Program: Hope Through Infertility